OZ Cabbie August 2015
I bet you wonder what that UberX car is doing on the front cover of OZ Cabbie. It’s to forewarn you. Once UberX cars start carrying a sign identifying them as such, you’ll see touting like never before. That's what has happened elsewhere in the world. We have seen nothing yet.
In last month's editorial I wrote that Queenland had introduced 6 demerit points for drivers caught driving for UberX. Sadly I was misinformed. Still a great idea though.
The NSW Taxi Operators and Drivers Association has changed its opposition to industrial action and announced a protest rally in front of Parliament House for 10 September. For full details click here.
LATE NEWS: Victorian Taxi and Hire Car Families has announced on its Facebook page that there are plans to hold rallies simultaneously in front of state parliaments in Queensland, Melbourne and Perth on the same day as Sydney.
Having most likely read the article "“We are ruled by Morons” Part V” in the June issue of OZ Cabbie in which we exposed NRMA and SGIO Insurance for misleading part-time UberX drivers by telling them they are covered by their normal comprehensive insurance policy, last month the Australian Taxi Industry Association lodged a complaint with the ACCC alleging improper behaviour by NRMA for claiming to cover drivers supplying “illegal” UberX services when its product disclosure statement excludes cover for vehicles if they are “used for illegal purposes”. Leading insurers are lying about UberX drivers’ insurance cover
How to stop UberX? If our state governments fail to, our only option left is a giant act of civil disobedience with hundreds of taxi drivers blockading every CBD and airport. More in Last resort to stop UberX: Blockade the CBD, blockade the Airport!.
Arresting Uber activist Russell Howarth and Uber were back in the NSW Supreme Court this month. As previously reported, Uber had won an interim injunction against Russell, stopping him from conducting his now famous ‘citizen’s arrests’. In reply, Russell has filed a cross-claim seeking an injunction against Uber Australia, claiming that it is as illegal as its UberX drivers. He has engaged top law firm Turner Freeman to represent him. If he is successful it will force Uber to shut its UberX service down. However, lawyers cost money and Russell has little. As the biggest winners from an end to UberX will be taxi and hire car drivers and operators, I suggest each one of us make a contribution to his legal costs. Can one man shut down UberX in Sydney? Not without your help!.
Taxi Clubs are a Melbourne peculiarity. They operate in very murky waters and most are being run by some pretty shonky types. Recently a lawyer acting for one of these clubs was representing two driver-operators in a third party property claim. He lost the case and the drivers were ordered to pay $15,000 in damages, $7,500 each. Strange, given that their excess was only $1,500.
They told the Footscray Legal Centre about the case and smelling a rat it filed a complaint against the lawyer with the Victorian Legal Services Commissioner who took the lawyer to VCAT where he was found guilty on three counts of misconduct and fined $20,000.
But it’s not only the victims of these shonky clubs that are fed up with them. The Victorian Taxi Association wants them held to account and preferably gone for good. It has told the publisher of its magazine Taxi Talk, that it doesn’t support it publishing ads from taxi clubs, but to no avail. So this month Taxi Talk was sacked and the VTA plans to launch its own magazine, VicTAXI, next month. Well, it has been on the cards for a while, but still came as a surprise. The publisher, Toni Peters, tells me that she will continue publishing Taxi Talk regardless and is looking forward to celebrating its 60th birthday next year. More in Taxi Club lawyer fined $20,000 for misconduct in taxi accident case.
Australian Taxi Industry Association CEO Blair Davies stated in a recent press release that UberX has had only minor impact on taxi drivers’ earnings. Who would doubt Blair Davies, certainly not me.
Until next time, may manna rain on you from heaven.